This question is as impossible to answer as "How much does a car cost?" "How much does a purse cost?" "How much does a haircut cost?"
You Get What You Pay For
If you have had to hire a wedding photographer, you know they start in the hundreds and go up into the $10,000 range. I'm in several photography Facebook groups and people will post that they are looking for a wedding photographer and their budget is a few hundred dollars. That post will have 30 people commenting and linking to their portfolios and asking to be considered. Let me show you my actual wedding photos that I got for cheap:
These are the finished photos from my wedding delivered from the cheap photographer. Here is a wedding photo that I took that incorporated training, creativity, and expensive gear:
So how much does it cost? It depends what you want to get out of it.
So What Are the Average Boudoir Photography Prices?
I've been in the industry for several years and I've seen multiple posts about pricing and I have a pretty good idea about what the industry standard is. So let me share that with you.
Amateur Photographers and Hobbyists
First off, there are tiers of photographers, just like there are in any artistic profession. There are people who do it as a side hustle who will charge you several hundred dollars. They might be skilled amateurs who can produce great images. Things you should look out for with photographers in this tier is if they can consistently deliver images of high quality. Most amateur photographers also rely primarily on social media to advertise instead of having a robust website, so you need to make sure that you are both clear about what's going to happen to your pictures after they are done with them. It also makes it hard to thoroughly check their client references and testimonials beyond what they choose to post. Actual businesses have Yelp reviews and Google ratings that you can access to get an unbiased and unfiltered picture of what kind of a person they are and how professional they are.
Professional Boudoir Photographers
The next tier would be the professional category. Professional boudoir photographers charge between $1,500 and $5,000 for photoshoots. Oftentimes, there is a shoot fee or a retainer fee used to hold a spot. That fee is anywhere from $250 to $600. This fee is often non-refundable in case of cancellation, just like how you have to pay a cancellation fee when you go to the doctor and cancel within a certain period of time. Picture packages are often charged separately and go from $1,000 to $8,000, depending on the number of pictures you want. Professional boudoir photographers will often deliver pictures in albums or wall art. While the cost per picture is high compared to what you'd pay printing pictures at CVS or shutterfly, it's important to remember that the bulk of the price is usually for the art, not the actual physical medium that the picture is printed on. That's why you can buy a ream of paper for $5, but a brand-new hardcover novel costs $25. You wouldn't go to the bookstore and explain that if they could just give you the Word file, you could print it yourself for a fraction of the price. So if a client wants a picture package with 20 photos, the cost of that picture package is not going to be tied to how much it costs to print the pictures, it's tied to the value of the artist that put the art into those images.
I like the method of charging a shoot fee and then picture packages separately because it allows the client to choose what picture package they want after the shoot at the reveal session as opposed to paying thousands of dollars upfront without having even seen the pictures yet. However, about 90% of my clients chose to prepay the full amount before a session because I do offer pre-pay bonuses for clients who choose to go that route.
Professional photographers also often have their own studio. I like shooting in my studio because it lets me get consistent results at any time of the day. It's also easier for me to build creative looks if I have all of my equipment and wardrobe with me at all times. My clients like it because I can offer a private, warm, elegant area to shoot in 24/7.
If you'd like to book a boudoir shoot or just want to learn more about the process, click below: